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St. Francis Church in Kochi

·  Summer: March-June (24°C - 37°C)
·  Winter: October-February (17°C - 33°C)
·  Monsoon: July-September

Best time to visit:  October-March

Opening Time: 10:00 a.m.
Closing Time: 05:00 p.m.
Weekly Holiday: N/A

Entry Fees for Indians Adults:  N/A
Children:  N/A
Cameras:  N/A
Video Camera:  N/A
Entry Fees for Foreign Nationals Adults:  N/A
Children:  N/A
Cameras:  N/A
Video Camera:  N/A
Designated as the oldest European Church in India, St. Francis Church in Kochi was constructed in the beginning of the 16th century. This was the time when the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama had discovered the Indian coast and paved the way for the likes of Pedro Cabral and Afonso de Albuquerque. Originally built as a wooden church, it was reconstructed as a brick, mortar and tile church from 1506 and 1516 and was dedicated to St. Anthony. Captured by the Dutch in the 17th century, it was handed over to the British in 1804 and St. Francis was declared the new patron saint.

The church was the original burial place of Vasco da Gama when he died in 1524. Though, his remains were transferred to Lisbon later, the gravestone marking the original burial place is still intact. Dutch cemetery (one of India’s oldest) can also be found here. Interesting exhibits include the pankhas or fans from the colonial era and the Doop Book (register with records of baptism and marrianges). Today, it is a protected monument, an historical landmark and one of the prime tourist spots in the city. Services are held every Sunday.

Road: Located in the Fort Kochi area of the city, the church enjoys good connectivity with all parts of city via National Highway 47. Local buses, taxis, cabs, auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws can be hired to reach the spot in a convenient manner.

Railway: Ernakulam Junction (South Railway Station) is only about 6 km. while Ernakulam Town (North Railway Station) is also only about 9 km. from the church. Taxis, cabs and auto-rickshaws are available at these stations.

Airway: The international airport of Cochin is about 37 km. from the church. Prefer to hire a taxi or a cab for the connecting road trip.